Malaysia: Poaching - A dangerous situation

MOHD FARHAAN SHAH The Star 7 Feb 17;

JOHOR BARU: The endangered giant turtle that was found in Singapore and duly returned serves to highlight poaching activities in Malaysia.

Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) chairman Vincent Chow said the only way the turtle, named Rahayu, could have made its way into the island republic was through it being smuggled in by humans.

“That is the only possible explanation for the turtle found in Singapore as it had a fishhook wedged into its mouth.

“News of the turtle being returned back to its natural habitat here is great for conservation but it also highlights the need for Malaysia to protect its wildlife,” he told The Star when contacted here on Sunday.

Chow stressed that education and awareness campaigns on the growing need for wildlife conservation were important in reaching out to the public.

He added that one of the main reasons poaching activity was rampant was the high demand for medicinal items and consumption by the public.

“If there is no demand, then we will see a drop in poaching activities here in our own backyard.

“This is where education comes in as it would help create general awareness that we must protect our wild animals and the environment,” he added.

Chow also urged the Govern­ment, in particular the relevant agencies, to be more strict when it comes to enforcing Acts that were supposed to protect wildlife.

He said the Government should also engage more with scientists and use the latest technology in studying animals here to help protect them from poachers.

It was recently reported that the Juku Juku turtle was handed over to Malaysian authorities after the animal was spotted crossing a road on the island republic in October 2015.

A wildlife group there rescued Rahayu, which had a fish hook lodged in its mouth.

The authorities here have placed Rahayu back in its natural habitat at an undisclosed location to protect it from poachers.


Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/metro/community/2017/02/07/a-dangerous-situation-case-of-turtle-found-in-singapore-highlights-need-for-tighter-rules/#PGTWmkDiEctmcsCh.99

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